There are several solar energy trends to prepare for in 2022. Here we will discuss consumer motivations, supply chain bottlenecks and Utility-scale solar. As more people adopt solar energy, the demand for solar professionals will increase, while utility-scale solar capacity will continue to grow. The solar industry will continue to grow in terms of number of jobs and investment, but these trends have not been seen since the early 2000s.
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Demand for solar professionals
According to Utility Dive’s four-part report on the state of the solar industry in 2022, the field of solar will continue to grow rapidly. With the cost of solar and onshore wind continuing to decline, the year 2022 should be another record year for solar deployment. However, the sector is expected to face some challenges in the supply chain. A number of solar professionals may find themselves in a precarious position.
The number of people employed in solar companies is expected to increase rapidly in the next few years. Many solar professionals will find themselves employed in new roles as solar technology continues to advance. Solar lighting will be a huge growth area. Standalone solar systems for electric vehicles will also become increasingly popular. With this growing demand, solar professionals will be sought after in 2022. Here are some of the main career paths that are currently available in the solar industry.
With rising utility costs, disasters and a lack of renewable energy, consumers are more interested in alternative, clean energy than ever before. According to the latest residential Solar Reviews study, consumers’ top Best Solar Installation Company Casa Grande AZ motivations include saving money on utility bills and building disaster resilience. The heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, Texas power crisis and wildfires in California caused a surge in inquiries, resulting in a 130% increase in solar installation quotes.
Utility-scale solar is weighed down by high commodity prices and supply chain constraints. A recent anti-circumvention investigation has further reduced shipments to the US. The sluggish market has hampered project development activity, and developers are finding it difficult to quote firm CODs and PPA prices. These factors have prompted a 6 GWdc downgrade in 2022 forecasts.
Supply chain bottlenecks
Increasingly expensive solar panels are threatening to put the completion of solar projects on hold in 2022, with a predicted 56 percent delay in the global market. Shipping costs account for about a third of project costs, and even a slight increase in price can turn a profitable project into a loss-making one. As solar panels become more expensive, supply chain bottlenecks could be a serious barrier to solar project completion.
Currently, the supply chain constraints facing solar developers are not only limited by a shortage of parts and labor but also by rising energy prices and a shortage of raw materials. Several factors, including geopolitical uncertainty over the Ukraine conflict and escalating energy prices, are contributing to these bottlenecks. Solar developers have been hesitant to commit to large-scale projects due to uncertainty, leading to more complicated contract provisions.
A report by Rusted Energy published in October found that more than half of the global solar buildout by 2022 could be delayed due to rising raw material costs and supply chain bottlenecks. It also found that 56% of the 90 GWdc of new utility-scale solar could go offline in 2022. Despite the positive outlook, the challenges still remain. Whether they are temporary or permanent, it’s important for solar developers to prepare now for challenges that lie ahead.
While interest in commercial solar from utility and corporate customers remains high, the supply chain remains constrained. The results of an anti-circumvention investigation have halted most shipments to the US. Project development activity has also been halted as developers struggle to quote firm PPA prices and CODs. As a result, this uncertainty is negatively impacting the outlook for the industry. And even if the market improves, it will take years to build new solar farms.